Friday, March 03, 2006


Students often ask me what books would be helpful to read in order too prepare for law school. This is difficult because law school involves complex issues that have not been systematically or well addressed by evangelical scholars and works specifically on human law. As a result, I cannot recommend a single book that will give you a complete perspective on the law. Instead, it is necessary to read a whole variety of books and synthesize the materials in order to come to a proper understanding of human law from a biblical perspective. So for that synthesis, and to prepare yourself for studying human law and understanding legal systems, I would recommend the following:

1. The Bible

2. Carl Llewellyn – The Bramble Bush (Oceana Publications Inc.)

3. Scalia – A Matter of Interpretation (Princeton University Press)

4. Arkes – Natural Rights and the Right to Choose (Cambridge University Press

5. J. Budziszewski – What We Can’t Not Know (Spence Publishing Co.)

6. J. Budziszewski – Written on the Heart, The Case for Natural Law (Intervarsity Press)

7. Kirk – The Roots of the American Order (Regnery Gateway)

8. Ronald Nash – The Word of God and the Mind of Man (P & R Publishing)

9. C.S. Lewis – Mere Christianity, The Abolition of Man, Studies in Words and The Weight of Glory

10. Gordon H. Clark – The Johanniane Logos, God’s Hammer, Language and Theology, and A Christian View of Men and Things

11. Rabin and Sugarman – Tort Stories (Foundation Press)

12. Baird – Contract Stories (Foundation Press) and other books in Foundation Press’ “Stories” series or “Law Stories” series

13. Plato – The Laws

14. Aristotle – The Ethics

15. Cicero – The Republic and the Laws

16. Augustine of Hippo – The City of God

17. Thomas Aquinas – Treatise on Law from the Summa Theologica

18. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion IV, chapter XX

19. Hooker – Politics of Ecclesiastical Polity

20. Blackstone – Commentaries on the Laws of England, Introduction, sections I-IV

21. Harold Berman – Law and Revolution I and II
22. Arthur Hogue – Origins of the Common Law

23. Harold Burman – Faith and Order, the Reconciliation of Law and Religion

24. Roscoe Pound – The Development of Constitutional Guarantees of Liberty (Yale University Press 1957)

25. Francis Schaeffer – How Should We Then Live and The Christian Manifesto

26. Lee Cameron McDonald – Western Political Theory, Parts 1, 2 and 3 (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc. 1968)

27. Paul Johnson– A History of the American People

28. John Warwick Montgomery – Human Rights and Human Dignity

29. Stephen Smith – Law’s Quandary (Harvard University Press 2004)

30. Norman Geisler – Christian Ethics (Baker Bookhouse)

31. Anthony D’Amato, Analytic Jurisprudence Anthology (Anderson Publishing Company)

Add to all of that as many actual famous case opinions as you can read, prominent horn books
on major legal subjects such as Prosser on Torts, , or any good books on the black letter law, any good books on history, and any books you can find by major influencers of the law (which usually have to be analyzed critically because they are probably full of all sorts of terrible theory), and you have an excellent foundation for preparing your mind for law school. Some good works on logical thinking and the informal fallacies couldn’t hurt either.

While I may modify this list in future posts, it provides a very good start for students who want to know what sorts of things they could look at to get ready for law school.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. Those were all excellent suggestions!